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8 Articles

EDULEARN15 – When education innovation becomes standard: a process-oriented approach towards an educational standard for technical students

Autor / Paper

Innovation is the driving force of human improvement. This is also true when it comes to education. Novel practices, tools, technologies as well as innovative ideas and materials trigger a constant improvement of teaching and learning having or not significant long-term effects in mind. The knowledge about innovation has changed the educational landscape, especially since the criteria for educational standard have seemed to become a Cinderella topic in this particular context.

In this paper, we aim at shedding some light on this peculiar issue by describing a process-oriented approach towards an educational standard for technical students. This approach covers two main points which should ensure sustainability in terms of teaching and learning practices. Firstly, innovation in education needs both devoted supporters and early adapters in order to successfully promote the way to standardization. Secondly, new teaching and learning approaches have to be constantly improved and applied in class in order to draw conclusions which pave the way towards an effective educational standard, including professional growth and learning practices. Our approach is one example of what professional practice looks like when supporting educators and learners as they develop.

 

Title: EDULEARN 2015 Proceedings
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1

IATED Digital Library

 

INTED15 – using games and tools to motivate part-time students in blended learning environments and increase their overall performance

Co-Autor / Paper

The use of games and edutainment in order to increase the motivation of students is nowadays very common. It has been done for some years in high schools, undergraduate programs and even in programs for graduates. When it comes to part-time studies with a blended learning rate with more than fifty percent, some troubles occur which are completely different from the experiences gained in the full time classes. The institute of Internet-Technologies and Applications at the university of applied sciences FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg, Styria, Austria, offers two nearly identical bachelor degree programs, one full-time and one part-time. This paper shows the differences in a course than happens in both programs in the first semester. Furthermore strategies to compensate the lack of social face-to-face contact in the part-time degree programme are presented as well as tools to automatically check submissions by the students and provide direct and immediate feedback.

Title: INTED 2015 Abstracts
ISBN: 978-84-606-5761-3

Title: INTED 2015 Proceedings
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7

IATED Digital Library

ICERI14 – Automatic test-based assignment and semi-automatic assessment as a student support in education

Autor / Paper

The possibilities of using e-Learning and blended learning effectively and application-oriented   in class has been an on-going process ever since. New „technology enhanced learning“ alternatives are therefore emerging rapidly. To keep up with this trend, we are permanently developing new tools and evaluating new possibilities to improve our courses.

Our students are provided with our own e-Learning platform called eNcephalon. Since summer term 2013 an automated test-based assessment module has been introduced in the part-time bachelor degree programme “Software Design” and the full-time bachelor degree programme „Internet Technology“.

As the main features – such as naming conventions, basic content comparison and black box testing – have been tested successfully under laboratory conditions, the field test during summer term 2013 validated the expected results and furthermore identified some issues which were not anticipated during the lab tests. These issues are mainly derived from didactic aspects of assessment and the question of how students manage exercises.

The paper at hand describes a second field test with focus on the integration of didactic aspects in order to increase the acceptance of automatic assignments.  It also compares the initial situation of summer term 2013 with the current summer term 2014 based on the course “Configuration Management”.  Finally, this paper provides a recommendation on how to deal with automatic test-based assignments from the pedagogical point of view.

Title: ICERI 2014 Abstracts
ISBN: 978-84-617-2485-7

Title: ICERI 2014 Proceedings
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0

IATED Digital Library

EDULEARN14 – the human body in the virtual world – a missing part of a perfect online learning communication

Autor / Paper

The body and the behavior/movement of the partners within a communication are important in all kinds of communication. Body language is vital for lecturers to gather information about the current level of attentiveness of the audience.

Voice and text communication are the main techniques used in online learning environments. Webcams or other technical equipment used to show the users directly are not very often used, mainly because of the lack of bandwidth and the fact that the lecturer is not able to monitor all the attendees within the course. These problems also occur at other fields of online communication like gaming.

The usage of avatars – visualizations of the users – is not new, the usage of this static pictures or virtual corpses as representatives for the users is very common in the field of gaming, especially in online gaming. These avatars are mainly used to give an impression how the users connected to the username look like, or want to look like. Typically there is a big difference in the appearance of the avatar and the real user. Some users change genders, age, body measurements or hairstyle, it is also possible that users can use cartoonized images of an uploaded photo of themselves as avatars.
Synchronous online – or distance – learning scenarios, where the lecturer and the students attend the same online room at the same time suffer from two main problems. Lack of direct non-verbal feedback from the students and the lack of responsive avatars.
The first problem could theoretically be solved by using webcams, so the lecturer would get direct visual feedback of the level of attendance of the students. In practice this is not easy to handle because the lecturer would have to view the video streams of all the students while educating, in classes with docents of students this is simply not possible.
The second problem is kind of a technical, high end scanning equipment would have to be used by every student, to scan their faces permanently, so the avatars used could be responsive and give the lecturer an impression about the current mental state of the student.

This paper shows the problems, lecturers are facing when giving synchronous online lessons. The first we recognized the importance of the body in the communication and as follows also in the virtual online communication. Second we identify the difficulty to virtualize the human body. So we need to think about new methods to find a comfortable way to digitize parts of the human body language to transform these parts into a visualization. But why we need a visualization of the human body language?

Let’s think about a standard class room at the university or at school. The lecturer is able to see all participants and take care about the current reactions, e.g. yawning, be curious or digressing, during the lecture. At online class room the lecturer has no possiblity to see those reactions, feelings or moods of the participants. The only common reactions is silence of the virtual world.

Title: EDULEARN14 Abstracts
ISBN: 978-84-617-0556-6

Title: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3

IATED Digital Library

ICEEE13 – Automatic test-based assignment and subsequent automatic assessment in e-Learning an empirical study of two courses (part-time and full-time course)

Autor / Paper

The field of eLearning and distance education is very complex and technology is changing very fast.

To keep up with new technologies, we are permanently developing new tools and evaluating new possibilities to improve our courses. Our students are provided with our own e-Learning platform called eNcephalon. Since summer term 2013, our newest feature, an automated test-based assessment module is tested at the parttime study degree program “Software Design”.

As the main features have been tested the term before under laboratory conditions, the field test proved the expected results and furthermore identified some issues which were not recognized during the lab tests.

This paper describes a field test during the lecture “Configuration-management” and the improvements for both, students and lecturers.

 

ISBN: 978-1-4673-5093-8

IEEE Xplore

ICL12 – eLearning in the Cloud – benefits, costs and reasons for a cloud migration

Autor / Paper

The topic elearning – especially when combined with cloud computing and scalability – is a wide spread area which covers different research fields.

The department of Internet Technology at the FH JOANNEUM has a huge expertise in developing and using elearning systems since 2004. In that year, the department started their first online courses at one of their degree programmes.

Today, distance learning is used at two bachelor degree programmes and two master degree programmes.

While the number of students using the elearning platform has increased from 200 users to more than 2000 users over the last eight years while the server hardware has only been replaced at malfunctions and the usage of more performant hardware (except storage and memory) was hardly necessary.

This paper shows that the usage of cloud based server environments instead of self-hosted servers can help to reduce costs and the scalability helps to improve the performance.

While conventional lectures are held between monday and thursday, most of the online courses are held on friday and saturday which can also be seen at the performance logs of the elearning servers.

ISBN: 978-1-4673-2426-7

IEEE Catalog Number: CFP1223R-USB

ICCHP12 – NAVCOM – WLAN Communication between Public Transport Vehicles and Smart Phones to Support Visually Impaired and Blind People

Co-Autor / Paper

Visually impaired and blind people want to move or travel on their own but they depend on public transport systems. This is sometimes challenging. Some problems are to find the right vehicle, signalling their wish to enter or leave the vehicle and getting information of the upcoming stations. To solve these problem very specialized equipment was develop. In this paper we show a solution with standard WLAN components and a standard smart phone, that might solve these problems. Hopefully this raises the life quality for the people with special needs.

ISBN: 978-3-642-31533-6